By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Hannah Helker of Oklahoma Baptist has been named NAIA National Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week and teammate Akela Jones has been tabbed as the NAIA National Women's Indoor Field Athlete of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Helker and Jones were selected based on their performances from Feb. 11 - 17.
Helker, a sophomore from Edmond, Okla., took top medalist honors in a pair of events at the NCAA Division I Nebraska Tune-Up on Feb. 15. In the 1,000-meters, she defeated 13 other runners, including seven from the NCAA Division I ranks, with a time of 2:52.11. Later in the same day, Helker's time of 9:59.52 topped the 29-person field in the 3,000 meters. Her mark in the 1,000 is currently No. 2 in the NAIA this year and her finish in the 3,000 is No. 3.
Jones, a freshman from Barbados, earns her second-straight weekly honor with her efforts at the Nebraska Tune-Up. She established the Barbados national indoor record in the high jump with a leap of 1.85 meters (6-0 ¾). She also set a school record and now stands No. 1 in the NAIA by more than four inches. Jones also won the long jump with a mark of 5.86 meters (19-2 ¾).
This is the final award for the 2013 season. For the complete Athlete of the Week calendar, click here.
Track Nominees: Jordan Mathes, Carroll (Mont.); Rachel Renken , Friends (Kan.); Adella King, Indiana Tech; Jessica Davis, Texas Wesleyan; Jenna Higgins, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Christi Avery, Warner Pacific (Ore.); Kelsee VanderBaan, Davenport (Mich.); Allie McFayden, Grand View (Iowa); Meagan Governor, Northwest (Wash.); Kortney Ellingboe, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Sarah Neimeir, Missouri Valley; Julie Oosterhouse, Cornerstone (Mich.); Jessa Sughroue, Doane (Neb.); Kate O'Halloran, Oklahoma City; Shelby Garrigus, Central Methodist (Mo.); Jodine Steemers, Eastern Oregon; Karina Coelho, Embry-Riddle (Fla.).
Field Nominees: Kaytlyn Coleman, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho); Kathleen Mulligan, Carroll (Mont.); Jamie Crouse, Concordia (Neb.); Cora Tatum, Indiana Tech; Cassie Keeping, Siena Heights (Mich.); Larissa Wilden, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Tiffanie Nyssen, Warner Pacific (Ore.); Meaghan Foster, William Penn (Iowa); Alex Blehm, Davenport (Mich.); Tessa Gryzen, Davenport (Mich.); Devon Jensen, Grand View (Iowa); Sharayah Kenady, Concordia (Ore.); Emily Smith, Aquinas (Mich.); Michelle Leichleiter, Hastings (Neb.); Christina Guzman, Loyola (La.); Brittney Brisco, Missouri Valley; Shykilia Sheppard, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Briana Vander Woude, Dordt (Iowa); Kate Fulton, Central Methodist (Mo.); Jessica Sosnowski, Eastern Oregon; Tyler Sloan, Baker (Kan.); Katie Thurbon, Baker (Kan.); Reta Woodard, Embry-Riddle (Fla.).
2013 Women's Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week (Field, Track)
Week 1: Gabriella Dixson, Concordia (Ore.), Jura Levy, Oklahoma Baptist
Week 2: Reta Woodard, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Adella King, Indiana Tech
Week 3: Reta Woodard, Embry-Riddle (Fla.); Hillary Holt, College of Idaho
Week 4: Larissa Wilden, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Jura Levy, Oklahoma Baptist
Week 5: Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist; Julie Oosterhouse, Cornerstone (Mich.)
Week 6: Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist; Hannah Helker, Oklahoma Baptist